Monday, September 24, 2012

Too much exercise may not be a good thing for fat loss...

Now this is interesting and indeed reflects what many people have found.  The whole study is available by the way.

In conclusion, a similar body fat loss was obtained regardless of exercise dose. A moderate dose of exercise induced a markedly greater than expected negative energy balance, while a higher dose induced a small but quantifiable degree of compensation.

Although well recognized as an important means for weight loss maintenance (9), the role of habitual endurance training in weight loss is scrutinized, and it has been suggested that exercise leads to compensatory responses. In the current study, we show that despite that one group undertook twice the amount of endurance training, the reduction in body weight and, more importantly, in body fat was the same as the weight loss and was equal among the two groups (a healthy weight loss). Surprisingly, the reduction with the moderate-dose exercise was far greater than what could be explained by the increased energy expenditure from the training itself (no compensation) 

So the idea is that  there are some sort of compensatory mechanisms that are initiated in response to excessive exercise.  The body takes it as a signal to hold onto rather than burn body fat....Moderate exercise is better though and doesn't induce some reactions.

There is a very good analysis and commentary of this study over at Greatist :

News: Exercising Less May Help Us Lose More Weight


John Sifferman said...

Now that is interesting, and reinforces what many have been saying for a long time: balance in training is important. More is not always better.

George Adventures In Health said...

Good find Chris, this dovetails pretty much exactly with what we've all seen for years, and tried to explain with 'compensation mechanisms'.

These are the same mechanisms that get ridiculed and called excuses for not working hard enough. Now, don't get me wrong, I think we all know there are some people who just plainly don't work hard enough, but many of us who work in the fitness trade have experience of taking on a new client and getting them to do less (especially cardio, is there something specific about cardio rather than resistance work?), and the client 'magically' has a fat loss acceleration....

Thanks again,